Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Too Much Fun Again, Again

"Like a girl too pretty or a car too fast, I ain't never had too much fun."

Found myself downing ibuprofen caplets with great intensity of purpose last Friday afternoon, recovering from dancing my back into spasm at the M.I.A. concert the Wednesday before. M.I.A. rocked the crowd of twenty-something women wearing short shorts and fishnet stockings, rocked them silly with crazy good beats, crazy good. The acoustics at the Concourse at the San Francisco Design Center are crap however, so the bass response was pretty messed up. Would be cool to see her at Burning Man, or maybe The Greek.

The Jerry Garcia Band with Melvin Seales on organ Friday night at the Great American Music Hall thumped the spasm right out of my back, but I pulled a hamstring dancing like a hyperactive superball. Hippies kept strolling through my dancespace, so much so that at one point I had the distinct feeling of playing hippy Frogger. My dear friend Anjeni joined our happy-go-lucky party that night, which excited us both to no end. The first show she saw after moving to California from Vermont in 1989 was a Jerry show. She went with me, and it was our first show together, such that last Friday night, a good 18 years later, we felt like we had arrived home after epic travels. When the wife & I arrived Anjeni ran right up and jumped into my arms. I must have carried her for the better part of a minute, just to show how happy we were to be blessed with this magic music, and to perch with Cheshire smiles at the top of our dancing evening, dressed so fun, eyes lit up like stars over the Sierras. We danced wild. We danced free, like tomorrow & yesterday forgot about us. The sweat poured off of me and the whoops & hollers proved uncontainable. Such a fun night, hell of, hamstring healing.

Took the family to ride the steam trains in Sacramento Saturday, very nice, along the river. The kids loved it, especially in concert with the over-priced antique candy store. Cross that one off the list.

Sunday loved the bicycles, loved them to revolution. Rode from Newark to Sky Londa & back, right across the Dumbarton Bridge, through Stanford, and up, up, up to the spine of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Siobahn & Ruxana joined me, and I daresay that they had heck of fun. Lunch at Alice's Restaraunt, racing butterflies up Old La Honda Road, Rodin's Gates of Hell sculpture, peeing at the Stanford Art Museum, zimming down Highway 84 at a white-knuckled deathclip, all added up to a stellar ride. That kind of ride shows what killer bikes and feeling radiantly great are all about.

Dad gave us a new fancy charcoal grill, so I tested it out yesterday with some lamb chops, lamb steaks, and lamb ribs, mmmmmmmm, lamb.

That concludes my documentation of what them jealous spoil-sports keep calling too much fun.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Boy Sings Prine

The boy has taken to singing various Prine Songs, but the one you see below was his first. So strange to hear him try it, alone in the kitchen, unprompted, in his skinny 4-year old child's voice, especially the first time. John Prine is one of the artists that the wife & I share the most love for, so the 59 Prine songs in our collection get a lot of play. Gumbo appears to be using my award-winning karoake strategy of starting with slow songs without too many words.

The heat wave feels plenty hot, burn the tar out of you feet Jamaican sand hot, and I do love it so.

If You Don't Want My Love ©John Prine & Phil Spector

If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love
I know who
I'll give it to
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love

If you don't want the thrill
If you don't want the thrill
If you don't want the thrill
I know who
I know who will
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love

If that's the way that the world goes round
then that's the way
that it all comes down
and when you want me
I won't be around
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love
I know who
I'll give it to
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love
If you don't want my love

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Blaze Of The Sun

"The strife of doubt all passed. He found his sight again. And there rushed over him a tide of emotion unutterably sweet and full, strong like an intoxicating wine, deep as his nature, something glorious and terrible as the blaze of the sun to one long in darkness. He had become an outcast, a wanderer, a gunman, a victim of circumstances; he had lost and suffered worse than death in that loss; he had gone down the endless bloody trail, a killer of men, a fugitive whose mind slowly and inevitably closed to all except the instinct to survive and a black despair; and now, with this woman in his arms, her swelling breast against his, in this moment almost of resurrection, he bent under the storm of passion and joy possible only to him who had endured so much."

--from The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey

the night bird across the street has been singing all night, singing in the heat wave that's coming down. the moon gets restless, hazy, hiding behind trees, while mother earth she warms, in time with me. still I'm lost though, and wonder terrible about the long forgotten path home.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chico Wildflower Century

The course as measured on my dad's bicycle computer ran only 97-miles, but because I'm a spaz I inadvertently rode the wrong direction for four miles, for a total of eight extra miles, which turned out perfect because I would have been pissed to not be able to say I'd ridden 100+ miles. You see us here at Christian Michael's fine establishment in Chico. Food was good but the service was weird, but what does one expect from the number one party college town in the country, and what's a little (ha ha) coke between waitstaff anyway?

Temperature ran into the low 90s(F), such that when I reached the top of Table Mountain my dad and Quintan were ready to send me to the medical technicians, not realizing that I look like that at regular weekday intervals. The riders were mostly friendly, and the 100-miles blew by quick enough (9 long hours). Home stretch down frat row, always good for a smile. So let's ride, or die, to hell and back, with goofy grins and devil-may-care attitudes.

"Dark as the night
You're still by my side
Shining side

Gone are the days we stopped to decide
Where we should go
We just ride

Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams
Gone - both dream and lie

Life may be sweeter for this I don't know
Feels like it might be alright."

--from Crazy Fingers, Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fun With Water at Night

Oh sure, we're all familiar with hose fun in the day when it's nice and warm, but what about that underexplored world of fun with water on fifty-something degree nights? I said no at first, but the looks on their faces proved too much for me to argue with. Glad I did, because they had a veritable boatload of fun together. I watched in amazement, my wool trenchcoat wrapped snug around.

Took Gumbo for a haircut the next day. After the cut we checked out the Bone Room in Albany, where they have many bones, fossils, and taxidermied fauna. Bought him a sucker with a cricket in it. Even though the sucker turned out to be mint flavored, one of his least favorite flavors, he ate it steady until able to bite off the head of the cricket, at which point he said that I could have the rest. It's in a bag waiting to be discarded, on top of the fridge.

"He who knows does not speak.
He who speaks does not know.

Block all the passages!
Shut all the doors!
Blunt all edges!
Untie all tangles!
Harmonize all lights!
Unite the world into one whole!
This is called the Mystical Whole,
Which you cannot court after nor shun,
Benefit nor harm, honour nor humble."

from Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching, translated by John C. H. Wu

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fishing Marlin in Our Minds

This piece, by the boy of course, now almost 5-years old, captured me with great immediacy and depth, my soul flew into the Marlin on the line, felt the hook in my cheek, bright contrast between air & seawater. Then, as my eyes traced to the boat I felt the ache in my arms from wrestling the formidable fish so many hours, bathed in fat warm Cuban breezes. Having had a recent read of Hemingway's "Selected Letters: 1917-61", the imaginings remained current in my mind, and played a major role in my appreciation of this priceless array of crayon & pastel markings on torn construction paper. The fact that my own son sees what I see, to some degree, and can draw it so expressively, washes me with good feelings & Carribean melodies. "It's A Reggae Christmas" is one of his favorite recordings.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Long Live Anna Nicole!

Turns out that we get to keep this lovely pink poodle about a third of the time, since her owner's new husband doesn't believe in allowing canines indoors, and Anna Nicole's truly a house dog, especially during the colder months. The kids call her Anna Banana, and adore her without reserve. Anna's hair seemed to obscure her vision, so my mom had the zippity idea of tying it up. So much more punk rock now. But really, dogs do rule, this world as well as all other worlds.